so I brought home another New Zealander

Yesterday’s nursery jaunt included Roger’s Garden in Newport Beach, where I found the New Zealander of the title, Cassinia fulvida, and Village Nursery in Huntington Beach. Driving empty freeways sounds like a great time, but it eerily underscores how aberrant this moment is in the life of a formerly bustling metropolis.

there it is — unassuming, hebe-like Cassinia fulvida, the Golden Cottonwood, reminiscent in leaf and stem of another twiggy New Zealander, ozothamnus

Roger’s seems to have methodically removed most of their heroic succulent display plantings filled with statement agaves and aloes in favor of blowsier, bloomier plantings with admonitions on signage to plant pollinator gardens. I get the outreach effort for pollinators but still miss the agaves…why can’t we have both sculptural and pollinator-friendly plantings? I suppose it’s difficult for staff to change up the plantings working around spiky plants, not to mention the water needs being asymmetrical as far as keeping the blooming stuff going…

Cassinia fulvida, ultimate height 4-6′, width 6-8′ — one will be too big for the space allotted and I bought two! That’s lockdown shopping for you.
Kiwi plants are fab. Another New Zealander planted earlier in the year to replace a grevillea, Lophomyrtus x ralphii ‘Sundae’ on the right
With Sideritis oroteneriffae, some annual coreopsis, ‘Druett’s Variegated’ silene which spent last year in pots
I’ve been attracted to lophomyrtus for years and have mostly grown dark-leaved varieties
A better look at Coreopsis tinctoria ‘Tiger Stripes’ breaking into bloom with
Aloe camperi and ‘Red Planet’ cordyline.
Orange bloom against the garage wall is the vine Senecio confusus. Marty just added another hose bib at the back of the office/garage — a “watershed” moment for me. No more dragging hoses to reach the back of the garden and potting area.
love the green tips on aloe buds
Senecio confusus trained on fishing line to run under the eaves, the stems fastened with plastic clips used for training tomato plants. Behind the funnel of pitcher plants on the left is Salvia mexicana
unknown cultivar of Salvia mexicana growing like gangbusters
strappy-leaved silvery astelia in the stock tank is another New Zealander. In the ground on the left is the False Aralia, Dizygotheca Elegantissima  aka Schefflera elegantissima, which is doing surprisingly well in front of the cypresses. The False Aralia is from New Caledonia.

At Village Nursery I found some fun things to add to the shady stock tank in front of the lemon cypresses. I’ve been using this end of the stock tank to throw in bromeliad pups, so removed a bunch and planted Astilbe ‘White Gloria’ and a Blue Bear’s Paw fern Polypodium (Phlebodium) aureum. As I mentioned last week, a container here with Hoja Santa (Piper auritum) and the False Aralia was moved out, with the Hoja Santa planted under the Chinese Fringe Tree and the False Aralia planted in the ground just about where it lived in the container, so its light exposure conditions didn’t change.

Astilbe ‘White Gloria,’ one gallon planted in the stock tank and another in the ground adjacent. Not having much experience with astilbe, I’m not sure the one in the ground will manage in the dryish soil. The nurseryman said astilbe come back every year for him and he looooves them.
blue fronds of Phlebodium aureum areolatum.

I’m sure there’s other New Zealanders I’ve left out. But meanwhile, elsewhere in the garden…

To the right of the chair, the white pot is filled with Cosmos ‘Xanthos.’ Roger’s had bushy six-packs of it, while the ones I started from seed a few months ago are still only an inch high — an insurance policy. This view was taken from the outpost on top of the laundry shed, where I spend an hour or so reading most afternoons
Hiding among the grasses is a clump of Agapanthus ‘Indigo Frost’ planted last year, with seven buds!
the nicotiana seeding against the house turned out to be a coveted lime green
the nicotiana blooms directly under a wall planter by Potted that was recently moved here. The same Sticks on Fire has survived six years in the metal pocket.

The dwarf breadseed poppies (Papaver setigerum) are just about over, but there’s still lots to keep this guy busy. Hope you’re having a good week! Take care.

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6 Responses to so I brought home another New Zealander

  1. Kris P says:

    Looking good, Denise! You’ll have to report back on the Astilbe. I wasn’t able to keep them alive in my old garden but I haven’t tried them in this one but ‘White Gloria’ is a beauty and I wouldn’t mind giving it another try.

  2. Steve B. says:

    Loving this post (and your last one, too)! Thanks for sharing with us.

  3. Elaine says:

    Your garden looks like a tropical oasis with all it’s surrounding greenery. My experience with astilbe is they require constant moisture to do well. Sticks on fire seems to be the most accommodating of plants, tough as nails and always beautiful. Looks great on the wall.

  4. hb says:

    Have always wanted to try a Lophomyrtus, but the stars have not yet aligned. Empty freeway?!? Was it really so quiet?

    Have ventured only as far as Trader Joe’s, gloved, masked, goggled, and paranoid. Enjoyed being in your garden for a few moments, via your camera & comments. Thanks!

  5. I love the extended glimpses of your garden.

  6. Nell Lancaster (z6b/7a Va) says:

    Astilbes are moisture lovers, so I’d give them some extra attention until they’ve settled in. That’s a lovely one.

    Driving the empty freeways must be an eerie experience. I’m still screwing up my nerve to go snag some tomato & pepper plants from a local greenhouse. Everyone’s going to go there at once, since we had cold weather and frosts up until early this week.

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